Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi | A SERIES OF EXORCISMS

I pull aside a dreamer
who doesn’t believe
in the dream
Its not the duration I say
But the rhythm of hell
and my thoughts
are kick drums
in the purely contextual difference
between torture
and torsion
a ring of fire
footsteps of the Djinn
planted in wet clay

a tunnel
before the shale

I begin in a valley
Under the fork in the river
In defense of death:
There’s no point sympathizing with repetition
I understood the falcon
Rent hikes
And a dozen stores’ closing sales
I still think about you
When I turn rocks over
To let them breathe

I begin on the precipice of reality
I’ve come to attend my own disappearance
I’m driven by the calm tenure of the sun
Genuflecting, we exorcise
Our skin
Peeling off in the sun

Puffing this endless cigarette
Waking up when it’s time to go to sleep
A cigarette in hand as a gesture towards
Any Sub-god daddy and his invented universe
Give me a return as the next epoque
Give me an ancestor as futurity
I’ve lost my creative capacity for metaphysics
Having spent too much time with subjects
I’m lost but at least i’m linear
My voice, misaligned in a lack
10mg short of ardour and upped dose
Another pill to return the stolen scent
Of the orange blossom: looking over
A drained pool, thinking “Lets build a river”
Station it between these two nothings


Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi (they/them) is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer and Translator. They were shortlisted for the 2021 Austin Clarke poetry prize and 2022’s Arc Poem of the year award, and they were the winner of the 2021 Vallum Poetry Prize. They are the author of four poetry chapbooks and three translated poetry chapbooks. Their debut poetry collection Me, You, Then Snow is out with Gordon Hill Press. Their second book WJD is out in a double volume with the translation of Saeed Tavanaee’s The OceanDweller from Gordon Hill Press. Their collaborative poetry manuscript with poet Klara Du Plessis is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press Fall 2023.